ONE of the Capital’s brightest prospects Luke Keeler is ready to make an impression in the current ‘capital of Irish boxing’ on Friday night.
The Dublin middleweight makes his Belfast debut and goes to work at the Holiday Inn eager to catch the eye up North.
Boxing is buzzing in Belfast at the moment, with Carl Frampton bringing major fight nights to the fight city and a number of emerging boxers building their records on an abundance of small hall shows.
Undefeated Keeler wants to generate a bit of a buzz of his own by extending his record to 5-0 when he trades leather with recent Alfredo Meli foe Festim Lama this weekend.
“At moment Belfast is the capital of Irish boxing. They have regular shows up there and boxing is thriving. With so much happening up there the chances I could be out up there again, so hopefully I make a good impression and make a return to Belfast more likely,” said Keeler.
The 27 year old, who has caught the eye in his debut year, isn’t just keen on impressing the Belfast fight fraternity he is eager to gain a win so he can continue his progression. While ‘Cool Hand Luke’ is content to move at a steady pace he knows a win will keep him on track to realise his 2014 Irish title goal.
“I have to win this fight first, but I am confident I will get the victory, then I plan to move up to eight rounds and by the end of July hopefully challenge for a Celtic Nation title and a Irish title fight before year is out. However, as always I’m just going to stay in gym and keep learning. I am really happy with improvements I’m making. I’m in no rush I’ll take the step up when I’m ready and when the right time.
‘Cool Hand Luke’ enters the fight without his right hand man. Trainer Pascal Collins is away in America with stable mate Gary ‘Spike’ Sullivan as he fights in Boston on Thursday night.
However, Keeler is confident his trainers absence won’t be an issue and assures the his pre-fight preparations and the Celtic Warrior Gym team will help secure a fifth pro win.
“It will be strange without Packie working corner or getting me prepared on the day, but everything went perfect in training camp and will be speaking to him day of fight so I am not too bothered,” he added.
“I also have also had good support from the gym and they will be helping me in the corner I an confident all will go well.”